BRYT Skincare is a fairly new skincare company, but it was recommended by two quite different people for my Teen Skincare Series, so I decided to explore and got in touch with the company. A swift reply arrived from BRYT founder, Catkin Wemyss Bodmer. Catkin answered my questions and was kind enough to send me a whole range for ‘Him’, so my tester Max was able to experience the three step process (Cleanse, Nourish, Protect) that is recommended to both young men and women, when it comes to their BRYT skincare routine. For my teen female testers I received a few products too, including Calm Serum which is one of the best-sellers & was developed specifically with the young skin in mind – their skin is evolving and changing, so the serum aims to reduce the level of sebum that is being produced, thus helping to find the skin its natural balance.
My first impression was a riot of colour that met my gaze when I opened the box with the products. It is bright and eye-catching, which is definitely what you want when you enter the beauty market. Young people enjoy bright colours and BRYT developed theirs clearly having done in-depth market research.
BRYT is built around the principle that our skin is a reflection of our lifestyle. If you look after your skin, you will look and feel better for years to come and not just when you are young. Being a teenager is a vulnerable time, when young boys and girls are finding their footing in the world and getting to know themselves, so if they set down good skin & body care foundations, their personal journey will be a happier, more confident one. Simple, effective skincare is part of getting to know yourself and what works for your skin and I think it is something parents should try to help their children understand through dialogue. By knowing your skin, you will be able to respond to the negative environmental impact, lifestyle, hormonal and dietary changes. The ultimate goal is not just to look good, but to feel good as well.
Q & A with Catkin Wemyss Bodmer, founder of BRYT skincare
What inspired you to launch BRYT skincare and how did you come up with the unusual name for your beauty brand?
CWB: I was struck by the lack of affordable premium quality skincare products available to young adults and did not feel it was right or ethical to be selling harsh and extremely sensitising products to a young audience, wishing for a quick fix for their skin. I also felt the need to educate people on the importance of starting and maintaining a healthy skincare regime when young, as the benefits one gets later in life are very marked, both from a healthcare perspective and from the beauty side. Thus BRYT Skincare was born… BRYT originally stood for Bright Young Things inspired by the 1920’s and the young post Great War generation who took life to heart and wanted to live it to the full, being innovative and creative, pushing the boundaries of society for a better world. It stands for an attitude of mind, rather than an age group and today in the world in which we live in, it is even more important that we inspire and aspire to a better, cleaner and more peaceful planet, where we can be more in touch with nature and our very being.
You developped skincare products for teens and young adults, a segment of the beauty market that is still quite neglected – why did you decided to focus on it ?
CWB: BRYT Skincare is not focusing on the Teen and Young Adult market but more on creating a product and a regime which appeals to a fast-moving, busy and aspiring group, of which the young make up a huge and unbelievably important sector. The health, happiness and wellbeing of the young benefits the whole of society and their influence is far-reaching, especially in this day and age of social media and our ever-increasing reliance on the internet. Having said that, one of my main desires is to help educate young people on the importance of looking after their skin gently, while young and so reaping the benefits in later life. But this is not just about skincare, it is about a lifestyle, of which skincare is a vital and important part. Habits learnt young often stick, so pick up something as a teen or young adult and it will be with you for life. From a physiological perspective, if you look after your skin between the ages of 16-25, it makes a huge difference in later years to the structure of the skin, with prolonged youthfulness, vitality and health.
What makes teens skincare needs different from young children or people in their late 20s? What should teenagers focus on when looking after their skin?
CWB: It is really important to think about the cleanliness of the skin at all ages but without stripping it. As children we need little more than water and almond oil to wash off daily grime and of course sun protection when out, whatever the weather. As a teen and young adult your skin is producing natural oils, which can be somewhat imbalanced during teenage and young adult years, so it is all about helping your skin through this stage without over-sensitising it. Do not over-exfoliate, as this will dry the skin out which, contrary to popular belief, you do not want. If the skin is too dry, messages are sent to the brain to produce more oil, thus, exacerbating the situation. This in turn will clog the skin, making it not function properly. Using natural products is also key to skin vitality and health, as these protect the skin against the atmospheric toxins, which ‘oxidise’ the skin. Therefore, look for products with high natural antioxidant levels. Our gentle foaming wash, BRYT Cleanse, is ideal for teens and young adults, as it cleanses and gently exfoliates, without stripping, leaving the skin clear clean and supple, without drying it out. On top of this, as one grows into young adulthood, the importance of nourishing the skin becomes ever more important. Whilst gentle serums are good to help balance the skin through those evolving years, as one matures and grows into ones twenties and thirties, the skin needs to be boosted and hydrated right down to the lower layers of skin, as well as being constantly protected from the atmospheric toxins (the Free Radicals). There are a lot of myths about skincare but really the only way one can protect against these aggressors is by the use of plant antioxidants. Essential oils penetrate right down to the lower layers, helping to nourish and boost skin’s natural functionality, which can be lost as we grow older.
Can you please tell in some detail about APS or Advanced Phytoscience System and Super Antioxidant extracts that you use, namely Organic Australian Wild Plums?
CWB: Advanced Phytoscience System, or APS, forms the backbone to all of our products. The APS formulation includes ‘super antioxidants’ extracted from organic Australian wild plums Kakadu, Burdekin and Illawarra.
Along with helping to protect against free radicals and environmental factors that can cause premature ageing, these power-packed fruits have numerous additional benefits that work to improve, protect, detoxify and exfoliate youthful, problematic and blemished skin. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, fruit acids, antioxidants and phytosterols.
Traditionally eaten by the Aboriginals of northern Australia as a medicinal food, the purple-green Kakadu Plum grows in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park in northern Australia. One of the greatest super fruits ever discovered, it has remarkable antioxidant power, five times greater than blueberries*, and is renowned for having the highest Vitamin C content of any fruit in the world.
Another super fruit with powerful antioxidant properties five times greater than blueberries*, is the fleshy, ribbed Burdekin Plum – deep purple in colour and rich in fruit acids, making it extremely tart in taste. The Aboriginals reportedly buried it in the ground to soften and increase the palatability.
With powerful antioxidant properties three times greater than blueberries*, the Illawarra Plum is native to the rainforest areas of East coast Australia. Traditionally eaten by the Aboriginals as a nutritional energy source, the grape-like purple fruit has a sweet, juicy pulp and subtle plum flavour.
Also included in the APS are soothing and calming Aloe Vera in its purest form, and Allantoin, originally found in comfrey roots, which helps to heal, soothe and tone.
BRYT has skincare products for both teen boys and girls, why was it important to develop products for different sexes instead of making unisex ones ( apart from an obvious product like shaving gel )?
CWB: Both men and women like to ‘own’ their products and market research told us that young men and women wanted something they could use as part of their lifestyle so, whilst the ranges end-goal is the same, the path taken to get there varies slightly in order to appeal and encourage both sexes to follow a simple, yet effective regime in line with their own wishes and desires.
Do you think that teenagers need to cleanse their face twice, not once a day? From what age do you think teenagers should try to establish a consistent skincare routine?
CWB: Yes, it is important to cleanse twice a day, but at night one must be more vigilant. I think it is good to get into this habit from a young age, but when your hormones kick in, your body could do with a little extra help. From there on, a consistent routine is hugely beneficial.
It is quite unusual to see a serum for teen and young skin. What are the benefits of using serums, as opposed to moisturisers?
CWB: Serums, particularly our Essential and Calm ones, are packed with nutrients which penetrate right down to the lower layers of skin and actively help balance, nourish and calm the skin. This is a vital role during the skin’s evolutionary process. Moisturisers don’t do this, they help the upper layers and in the case of our moisturiser BRYT Day, it helps the Serum be absorbed, maximising their capacity and then sealing in the goodness and helping to tone and soften the skin. In our case BRYT Day is a mattifying moisturiser with an SPF of 15, so it also protects against sun damage and is the perfect base, should you wish to wear make-up.
Young girls do look up to their mothers when it comes to skincare regime and products, including make-up. What are your Dos and Don’t for teenagers when it comes to skincare?
CWB: What I would like to say is, look at your skin as an integral part of your body, it needs to be kept healthy to function properly and is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. Your skin is with you for life and must be nurtured and cared for whilst young, to ensure it remains healthy as we get older. Skin is our biggest organ, it is our filter, which has the capacity to absorb both good and bad. There is no quick fix, but a long and sustained process. It is vital to protect it against sun and toxic damage (infrared being the worst toxic aggressor, closely followed by other environmental toxins, like pollution and excessive use of heavy make-up). So try to focus on using natural botanical extracts and oils, compatible with our skin, to ensure its health and vitality.
Get into a good habit of Cleansing, Nourishing and Protecting during your teenage years and as you mature, your skin will have that prolonged dewy glow, without the need to enhance it with excessive make-up and other un-natural aids, which will only sensitize the skin and bring on the ageing process.
Now, to my wonderful three teen volunteers who tested the products and wrote their un-scripted thoughts down:
Feedback from Lily: overall I experienced immediate results. I’m guessing this is because it was created with young skin in mind. The packaging is cool and neat, but the instructions are a bit wordy: I don’t think it is necessary to have all the ‘ Step 1, Step 2, etc.’ and it would be enough to say, for instance, ‘use after cleanser’. That would be less confusing.
BRYT Remove: works a treat for the eye make-up. Doesn’t sting the eyes like many other brands.
BRYT Day: I really like this cream and have been wearing it under my make-up, as it absorbs so quickly onto the skin. Skin feels soft and hydrated all day. A tiny bit goes a long way, which I really like too.
BRYT Calm Serum: it seems to have worked on my skin overnight, as I am prone to redness and this calms it down! I think I am going to continue using it forever!
Feedback from my teen tester Max, in his own words: